What a feeling!! After a two year stint in Colorado we are moving back to the Wood River Valley and back to Idaho. This is one of those decisions that induces one of those fits of smiling and laughing. The one where your cheeks hurt and all you repeat to yourself is “holy shit!!” and then laugh some more. It’s not a stretch to say that Robyn and I have been fairly nomadic since we joined forces in our last year at University of Idaho. In fact, by our count we have had 13 physical addresses in the last 8 years. Yup. I got a background check for some work here recently and was shocked to see the list of places I’ve called home. Now that we’ve sampled and traveled portions of the east coast, north coast (Alaska) and middle earth (Colorado) we are ready to settle back into what has always felt the best – good ol’ Idaho.
So how did this all come to be? As we shoved off for Colorado in Trixie (R.I.P.) and Vincent the air was frigid and my breath froze in sheets to the inside of our heater-challenged Volkswagen. I vividly remember the melancholy feeling as I looked into my rear view mirror wondering when, if ever, we would return to the Wood River Valley. Those feelings never left but we were motivated to push forward to find new experiences, make new friends and build our resumes in Colorado. Always keeping a close eye back to the valley we saw that the Sawtooth Avalanche Center would again be hiring for forecasters this winter. With two more seasons of snow work under my belt, it was time to give my application another chance. I don’t know if “4th time’s the charm” has much of a ring to it, but dammit we knew what we wanted and all the hard work, travel and 2:45 a.m. alarms have paid off. By the time these words have hit the interwebs I will have officially accepted a position at the Sawtooth Avalanche Center!
Our motivations for moving home are not simply for work. As I rode my bike around Hailey I remember thinking “I could raise a family here.” This thought was quickly followed by confusion because I had never actually thought about the prospect of having a family before. What would I want my kids to experience as they grew up? The opportunities in the Blaine County School District are incredible. It’s got a small town feel with a lot more options, events, clubs and extracurriculars than you could imagine in such a small community. The landscape and surroundings are stunning and the majority of our great friends are again within a days drive. Most importantly, they will get to grow up with aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents. Obviously choosing a place to settle is a big decision, and we have had some rough times. Through each experience we’ve learned something from our situation that we like or dislike. We’ve learned what is really important to us and set a plan to work toward it. So when asked why I wanted to work for the Sawtooth, I had no doubt that my answer, “…it’s a dream job in our dream location” rang true in every word.
The next step in our plan is to get Robyn into her dream job. The Wood River Valley has an awesome selection of cool organizations to work for and once we are established again it’s only a matter of time until she is in the position that she deserves. We have both worked in a variety of odd jobs over the last 8 years – some better than others. A lot of our random employment is due to my seasonal craziness disorder (SCD). All of the positions I have held in the snow realm have been finicky. Can we make it work? What about benefits? Will the funding be there next season? But with my new position at the Sawtooth that is all a thing of the past! Benefits-Whoa! Retirement-Zing! Permanent and salaried-Huzzah! Now it’s time for Robyn to explore, find what speaks to her, work toward it and excel. I owe so much to her and the continual support of all our great family and close friends. You guys mean the world to us and we can’t wait to share the next chapter of our lives with you again in Idaho.
“If you are dulled and dazed with the fever and the fret, or weary and worn,- tottering under burdens too heavy to bear – go back to the old outdoor home. Here Nature will care for you as a mother for a child. In the mellow-lighted forest aisles, beneath the beautiful airy arches of limbs and leaves… amid the silence of centuries, you will come into your own.” -Enos Mills
The obvious downside of this incredible opportunity is leaving our amazing friends and co-workers here in Colorado. It’s been a privilege to meet so many humble, kind and adventurous folk to share our time here with and your friendship is the most valuable asset we’ve gained. Not to worry though, since most of you are half convinced that you need to move to Idaho as well.. or at least come out for an extended visit! My start date at the Sawtooth is October 18th, so we have a lot to do, explore and tick off our bucket list before we leave – it’s going to be a wild month!